Kara, here. After last week’s series on Homemade Baby Food 101 by Christen, we had a few readers asking about the next step and feeding toddlers. So, I decided to re-run Megan’s series on Toddler Finger Foods, which originally ran August 2009. Don’t miss the great suggestions in the comments – and feel free to leave your own thoughts, too. We’d love to hear what simple breakfasts and snacks are a hit with the toddlers at your house!
Last week’s post on toddler mealtimes elicited some great discussion in the comments. Several of you asked for ideas on finger foods for your toddlers. I decided to create a two-part series with some ideas that have worked well in our family, and I hope others will share their toddler favorites as well!
For today, let’s focus on breakfasts and snack time.
Breakfast Ideas for Toddlers
I liked to roll pieces of fruit in dry baby cereal. This makes it easier for little fingers to successfully pick up the fruit and get it into those sweet little mouths.
Break up the scrambled eggs into little bite-sized pieces. I often top scrambled eggs with a little shredded cheese for an extra calcium boost.
Cinnamon Toast Strips
My kids are more open to whole wheat bread when I’ve sweetened the deal with some cinnamon sugar.
I confess: we do a lot of store-bought freezer waffles around here. I know waffles are easy to make from scratch, but this is one of just a few convenience food luxuries I indulge in. We toast ours under the broiler, and they are ready in no time.
These are so fun to make with older children and are always a big hit in our house. Blueberry is the muffin of choice around here. My biggest challenge is not eating the entire pan myself!
Snack Ideas for Toddlers
I personally like to use the Hillbilly Housewife recipe for buttery bread sticks, but recipes for this simple snack abound. Toddlers love to gnaw on food – just make sure to keep a close eye on little ones who might gnaw off more than they can chew.
Graham Crackers and Cream Cheese
This is an all-time favorite in our home. The kids like the sweet crunch of the crackers, and the cream cheese offers a little extra protein and calcium.
Pick up whatever is in season and soften it for little ones by steaming it for a few minutes.
Once again, a nice way to combine calcium and protein with the carbohydrates that seem to be a universal preference of toddlers. I lightly butter a piece of bread, sprinkle with shredded cheddar, and pop it under the broiler for a minute or so. Slice into strips and serve.
Sweet Potato Fries
Our family loves sweet potatoes, and when each of my girls had moved beyond pureed sweet potatoes, they loved sweet potato fries. I often serve these with dinner, making sure to make extra to keep in the refrigerator as a snack.
Yes! Nori – the dried sea vegetable you’ve probably experienced when eating sushi. I got the idea to serve nori as a snack from Cynthia Lair’s Feeding the Whole Family. Nori comes in paper-like sheets that nearly dissolve in the mouth – perfect for toddlers! I use kitchen shears to cut it into fun shapes. Nori is full of vitamins A, B1 and B2, C and iron.
Sometimes it just helps to hear what others are serving in their homes to get us out of our food ruts. Next time, I’ll share some suggestions for toddler-friendly lunches and dinners!
Alright, let’s hear from you! What are some favorite finger foods served for breakfast and snacks in your home?